27 November 2012
In an old joke about how to make rabbit stew, the punch line says, “First, you have to catch the rabbit”. In other words, making the stew is easy once this rather difficult first task is successfully completed. In this case, the research questions for my study seem fairly straightforward: what vocabulary do secondary school students in Aotearoa/New Zealand encounter in their reading? What vocabulary size is needed to read or comprehend those texts?
One way of attempting to answer these questions is to develop a corpus of secondary school texts. The current New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) is based around an enquiry model of learning, which means there are no prescribed texts for teachers and students at secondary level. This talk discusses the development of the corpus in three major subject areas: English, Science, and Social Studies.
Afterwards, I will look at particular characteristics of the three subject areas and how they influence the development of the corpus. The current state of the corpus and the next steps in the project are also outlined, along with some opportunities for some good old-fashioned ANZAC collaboration.
Lecture Theatre 459, Education Building A35, The University of Sydney
Dr Aek Phakiti
Senior Lecturer in TESOL
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